I was watching my grandson the other day on his ipod. It was interesting to me how seamlessly he moved in and out of the world around him to the electronically connected world in his hand. He was able to keep up with the conversations we were having while simultaneously playing a game - a game I am certain I could never attempt to understand or play. For him it was an extension of everything around him, not an intrusion to those trying to communicate with him. Which makes good sense relative to our personal time given the reality of todays connected world. But what about our professional time? Is social media actually intruding on our ability to focus, to be more effective and better aware of the teams we physically work with? Is it actually hindering or even stopping us from collaborating in a way that drives creative solutions and innovative thinking?
It seems to me that the line of professional time and personal interests has become increasingly blurred through social media. Perhaps how we engage with social media in our workday needs to be time managed in order to work more effectively? We are off and on it through our days: looking at updates, sending pictures of what’s going on, responding to news and information from friends. We Tweet, Pin, Facebook, Vine, Keek, etc., our way through the day. We don’t think twice about going online to shop, connect, chat or browse.
So here’s the question: should time for social media in the day be scheduled? Should we become more disciplined about the bites of time we are taking and using it wisely to be effective? Should we take work time to catch up on personal, social time? All interesting questions. I can remember being called out by my boss for being on a personal call at work. I was mortified that I’d been caught and that I somehow was thought of as less than a good employee as a result. Well, times are a changing and today we can no longer qualify what people are doing online - or who they are “talking” to. Yet, it is fair to say that all of those on-line interactions make our lives more informed (sometimes about stuff that is nonsense!) and more interesting because of the stream of content we are exposed to.
I imagine the notion of scheduling social media will spark a great deal of debate. And I’m purposefully not sharing my own opinion, but rather posing questions instead. I’d love to hear what you think about scheduling your social media time during working hours. Should you restrict interactions to the lunch hour? Coffee breaks? Allocate time throughout the day in bits and pieces? Or, who cares as long as the work gets done?